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Communication in corporations

Research has revealed that the size of an organisation has relevant impact on the corporation’s communication. The larger any organization becomes, the more difficult it becomes for people within it to communicate effectively with each other.

That is why formal communication is the most common to find in large corporations. Formal communication can be divided into oral and written, where oral communication is usually used for daily tasks, while questions of higher relevance require the written one. This type of communication works in large corporations because it keeps authority, the communication is clear and effective and there is a tidy flow of the information in which misunderstanding are less frequent.

However, it does not mean informal communication is bad for large corporations, as in this way managers can collect information from its subordinates that would have be difficult to gather through formal communication. Moreover, it is faster than formal communication and it can be more satisfactory for employees. So, when to use formal instead of informal communication in large corporations? In small and medium size organizations informal communication is a good option as the number of people involved in communication is pretty reduced and the information from the senders to the final receivers would be almost direct. But the amount of people the information has to go through in large organizations will most likely ensure uncertain paths, gossip and distorts that can make the communication be non-systematic, ineffective and maybe untruly.

Like in your job, sometimes it is important to distinguish if you are in a formal context or an informal one. We are used to use a colloquial language when we talk to our family and friends, and many times we don’t even realize that there are some slangs and idioms that need to be changed according to the situation.

Slang is a type of language that is informal and playful. It changes over time and also varies by region and culture. That is the reason why slangs —also idioms— may be an obstacle for the communication depending on the context. Table 1 “Slang Expressions” explain just a few of the most common terms:

Slang Meaning
Check it out, check this out v. look at, watch, examine
Stuff n. things
Veg v. relax and do nothing
Screw up v. make a mistake
Gross, nasty adj. disgusting

Table 1. Slang Expressions

Idioms are expressions that have a meaning different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words in the expression. Because English contains many idioms, non-native English speakers have difficulties making logical sense of idioms and idiomatic expressions. We can see some of the most frequent idioms in Table 2 “Idioms”:

Idiom Definition
A piece of cake Easy to do
Get over it Recover from something (like a perceived insult)
Not a chance It will definitely not happen
On top of the world Feeling great
On pins and needles Very nervous about something that is happening

Table 2. Idioms

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